The cybersecurity pioneer compared regulatory resistance to cryptocurrencies to the prohibition era. John McAfee is standing by his recent prediction that Bitcoin will be worth $1 million by 2020, going on to predict that fiat currencies will be worthless within five years.
Asked if he was sticking to his forecast and would carry out his forfeit that he would eat his d*** if he were wrong, McAfee, 72, told The Cryptograph: “Well, I am a long-term thinker. Yes, I stand by that. If you look at Bitcoin year by year it has continued to grow against the US dollar so who cares about temporary restrictions on the market? The dollar by then is going to be worth one-fifth of what it is today.
“Keep in mind that, as crypto creeps into our consciousness our economy fiat currency will devalue to the point that it is worthless.
“I would think that would happen within five years. If you want to do a wire transfer here in America, I have to go to the bank. It’s insane. With a Bitcoin wallet, it’s a 30-second process. I don’t even have to get out of bed. Which one of those is going to win?
“By December 31st, 2020, one million dollars. I think it’s going to be a little more. It will absolutely be more. It is a bet I cannot lose.”
I Can Be Legal US President
Responding to social media chatter that suggested his birthplace in the UK made him ineligible to become US President, McAfee told The Cryptograph: “Actually, I was born on an army base. My father was a US soldier during the war, so I am legally able to win if I want.”
He intends to run on a Libertarian ticket in 2020 but believes a win is unlikely — although he thinks Donald Trump has narrowed the odds of someone outside the political mainstream being able to go all the way.
Asked if Donald Trump had shifted goalposts, McAfee said: “It depends what that means. As an American citizen, I have every right to run for President.
“He has in fact set the posts a little bit further apart so there is a broader margin for who can, in fact, become President.
“Obviously, I’m not going to win. However, I ran in 2016, and it gave me a natural platform on which to talk about the things that matter.
“To me, it’s the process of making a President that changes things.
“Presidents don’t change much, do they? One is much like another, but the process of creating one gets a bunch of people out on the national stage telling their views on what they think life is all about here in America and what can be done to change it.”
The main issue that McAfee is passionate about is cryptocurrencies, and he intends to use his platform to put forward an argument in their favour.
“The most important issue to me is currency independence,” he told The Cryptograph. “Cryptocurrency has come along. It’s like Pandora’s Box. It is out of the box. It’s not going to go back inside the box.
“It’s going to be with us forever. So it is how we treat it, how we implement it, how we utilise the power of crypto that is going to change the world for the better or, the worse than it is now.
“The people who have the power control the currency at least in this country, in America; the Fed, a private organisation, controls the money supply.
“Well, there is so much power there and so much control that he who controls the currency controls our entire system of values, our entire system of production.
“The way it stands now the people at the top are basically treating everybody like slaves; they really are if you think about it.
“The output of our work belongs not to us but the government or the company or the entity that we work for.
“Whatever we think we’re getting paid we compete to be higher slaves in the system.
“We work for companies for 40 years, they give us two weeks off a year, and the rest of the time we belong to them.
“If we control our currency we control the value of our own work, of our own efforts, of our own productivity with this kind of freedom.”
Controversial and Unorthodox
McAfee will undoubtedly be one of the more controversial and unorthodox Presidential candidates in recent history.
He is currently splitting his time between North Carolina and Tennessee in the US having previously fled Belize because police in the Caribbean country wanted to question him over the murder of his millionaire neighbour Gregory Faull, allegedly found dead following an argument about McAfee’s guard dogs.
McAfee said: “We have a place here on the beach in North Carolina where we have been for around a week, and we also live in Tennessee. My staff follows around wherever we are.”
He admits talk of cryptocurrency dominance could be over the heads of the average working man and woman, but added: “Here in America schoolchildren are creating their own cryptocurrencies now. It’s free.
“Anyone can create ERC20 tokens, and you can do an airdrop or just hand it out to your friends and see what happens.
“When I was at school we played marbles which came in all sorts of exquisite little colours and glass beads.
“They were intricate and ornate things. That was our currency.
“You would play your game and if you won you took your marbles. Now instead of marbles, we have coins. It’s the same thing.”
Elaborating on the platform of his upcoming Presidential campaign, he said: “The issues I had the last time was who controls your body and your mind.
“Does it belong to you or does it belong to a government? Because if it does belong to you, any law that infringes on what you do with your body and your mind that does not impact on someone else has nothing to do with anyone but you.
“The Libertarian Party is the party I ran with the last time and will do so again this time.
“They are already represented in all 50 states. They have an organisation, and it is much easier to get out on the national stage with the Libertarian party.”
Asked whether it will be expensive to campaign for the American Presidency, he said: “The only expense is traveling to and from the places you are going to be speaking. It’s expensive if you actually want to win, yes, because you mobilise the voters. I don’t want to win.
“All I need is enough support, and I have enough support within the party to get on the stage.”
He also took aim at those who decry cryptocurrencies as a bubble, including legendary investor Warren Buffet.
“I think Warren Buffet has simply not taken the time to dig into it to understand it,” McAfee said. “He is a little bit older than myself and perhaps less motivated to find out the truth about it.
“It reminds me of the buggy whip manufacturers at the turn of the century when the automobile first came on the scene. Everybody laughed, got hysterical and said, ‘Buy a horse,’ but the world has changed, hasn’t it.
“First of all the number of cryptocurrencies will explode. People get hurt and lose money because they are careless, they are trying to be greedy, or simply don’t care. But you have to be responsible completely for yourself in the crypto world just like the real world. Nobody can protect you but you and if you don’t believe that stay away from crypto.
“Of course you want to hold. In crypto, you cannot lose. We have opened Pandora’s Box. It is not going back in. Where it goes, go with it. Hang on. We are in for a big ride.”
The Civil Wars Holding Crypto Back
McAfee claims the rise of the cryptocurrency market is taking place amid two civil wars.
“There are two wars. There is a civil war being waged inside cryptocurrency with everybody that is rooting for their own coin. Which means they are not rooting for anybody else’s,” he said. “People are sniping at each other and slapping each other around and arguing. There is a much larger war being waged by governments and banks.
“Right now, the only clamping down the government can do is by going to the exchanges. Within a year we are going to have truly distributed exchanges, and when that happens, you can’t shut them down.
“If you have a central exchange at the intersection of First Street and Third Avenue, you can go there and turn off the electricity, raid the place and shut the machines down.
“What do you do when the exchange is a collection of 10 million wallets spread across the world? It’s impossible. So how can governments shut us down?
“It is a technology that defies enforcement, and governments are always making laws they cannot enforce.
“America in the 30s, alcohol was illegal, but we drank more alcohol in that period than any period in history.
“Today, marijuana is illegal yet there is no place you can go where people aren’t smoking weed.
“Certain things are just uncontrollable. Cryptocurrency is one.”